Webcomic artists uses version control software to produce automated "making of" videos of his workflow

Mark V sez, "Electric Puppet Theatre is a web comic that I draw in Inkscape, using git for version control. A neat side effect of using git is that I can make a 'making of' video for each 24 page issue by playing the git repository through ffmpeg. The linked page contains animations for the first two issues as well as instructions on creating this type of animation (touching on how to make both ogg and youtube-compatible webm animations)."

Git is an incredibly powerful tool for keeping track of the changes of files. It is the version control software used to maintain the Linux kernel, managing and merging code written by many contributors around the world. But it's also useful for individuals to keep track of their own work. I use Thomas Gideon's Flashbake scripts to log all the changes to the novels and stories I work on, automatically saving any edits every 15 minutes and noting a bunch of easy-to-automate "context" (the local timezone and weather, the music I'm listening to, my most recent Boing Boing posts).

This is a wonderfully geeky example of how git can be combined with other powerful free/open tools, like ffmpeg (which makes and converts audio and video files) to capture your personal workflow and package it in ways that illuminate your process for other people who want to compare notes.

Animating a Git Repository (Thanks, Mark!)


  1. A decade or so ago, the young geeks would ask what the hottest areas of IT would be and I always said, “security and change mgt. Learn and gain experience in either and you’ll always be able to find work.” 

  2. Awesome. I would love to do this, except for all the time it’d take to edit out my intermittent xtube visits.

  3. We are totally going to do this for  our webcomic.  But if it’s a video of a webcomic I think it needs a new name.  So instead of Mallville Rules I guess we’ll call it Mallville Rocks and Rules? Well I can work on that. 

  4. When I was doing undergrad work at Emerson College, I was making a video game in a sea of film students. What always got me was all of the film students doing work in screenplays, editing project files, and the like and the lack of version software to fit these needs. Of course there were tools out there, but the clients are geared towards programming, not artists. All of which I see as a GUI issue rather than an engineering issue.

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